Derrick Rose — red from anger or blushing from shame?

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Because I’ve taken my summer vacation from basketball after the Atlanta Hawks were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs, guest blogger Lamar Hull is stepping in to deliver the basketball coverage you crave. Here’s his first post for Breslanta.

The Chicago Bulls are having a rough time. Not because they aren’t playing well — in fact, they are playing well enough to put them in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Miami on Wednesday (a series they lead 1-0). But the team is facing heavy casualties of late:

– Joakim Noah’s fighting major foot pain
– Kirk Hinrich has a bad calf
– Nate Robinson is losing his dinner and getting stitches
– Luol Deng had to get a spinal tap

Worst of all, the team is facing heavy public scrutiny for the Derrick Rose situation. While team members are getting back in the game, Rose is getting raised eyebrows and malicious attacks from fans and commentators alike for not returning, despite being cleared by the team’s doctors two months ago. It’s gotten so bad that fellow teammate Joakim Noah made a statement, more of an appeal really, to spectators.

But who can blame them with other major star athletes across the board getting back in the game, shrugging off injuries to secure the win? It makes fans come to expect that kind of performance, though brash, from all athletes. ESPN Classic even had a special on the subject of athletes of yesteryear going above and beyond the call of athletic duty. But with this encouraged mentality, you start to see comments like: “I would play for free and Rose won’t even get back in,” or “Rose is making so much money to sit on the bench.”

As if it’s that simple.

Rose might be cleared to play, but if he’s not mentally prepared, or he feels that his knee can’t give him the speed and mobility he needs to make his ankle-breaking cuts, then he shouldn’t play. He would only be foolish, potentially damaging the injury further. It’s certainly not worth his career.

As if it’s all his decision.

Though it’s ultimately Rose who can say whether he’s ready or not, we can’t forget that Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau won’t put him in if he doesn’t think he’s ready. Yes, he’s been practicing with the team, so he could probably get away with a few minutes in an actual game. It would certainly rev up the fans and boost team morale, but what good would it really do? Would the other guys continue to push themselves or would the return of Rose make them feel they can take a deserved breather?

Probably not. But do they really need him right now? These guys are in there to win and have proven they will do what it takes to beat Miami. Despite what the naysayers are saying all over the blog comments and in tweets, the Bulls won that game on Monday — not Derrick Rose. As long as they’ve got guys on the court, there is hope.

Remember, Rose isn’t a chump just out for himself. He’s still there rooting on his guys. Let’s give him some credit where it’s due and show a little more understanding. He did say he could return for this series, according to a USA Today article. We’ll see on Wednesday.

AUTHOR: Lamar Hull
BIO: Lamar Hull is a former NCAA basketball player for Davidson College and currently writes and blogs about sports. You can also look to him for the scoop on hit movies and TV shows, tech reviews, how-to’s, and more.
You can also follow Lamar at

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